One minute, Cadogan is learning on the job, a redshirt freshman in the Penn State offense. The next minute, he's one of four new offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions and playing the No. 1 team in the land at one of the loudest stadiums in college football.
But though the adjustment has come just as fast as a blitzing lineman, Cadogan isn't fazed. No matter what happens, he will always approach it the same way he does everything else - ready and prepared.
“You never know and you know nothing's guaranteed,” Cadogan said. “But by the grace of God, I am starting. Putting God first, I put my faith in Him and he directs my path. So whatever changes come, whatever people throw at me, I trust God that he will get me through anything I might face.”
Recruited to play left guard, Cadogan sat out his first year at Penn State as a redshirt freshman, doing what he does best - learning. Cadogan had a solid teacher in Levi Brown and by the time his second season came around, he played 41 snaps, including a career-high 32 against Illinois.
Then came the change. With PSU losing the majority of their offensive line, Cadogan went to the forefront and has started every game at left guard during the team's 2-2 start. Saturday, matched up against OSU's Quinn Pittcock, the former Portsmouth Trojan stopped the All-American defensive end in his tracks on several occasions.
Though the sophomore is an imposing figure at 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, Cadogan said altering his game to the college level is still a work in progress.
“One of the biggest differences is the speed of the game and everybody's as big as you are,” he said. “Back in high school, I was one of the biggest, now it's pretty much averaged out.”
Cadogan said to give himself the edge that he had in high school again, he has become a student of the game, listening intensively to coaches and watching game film every week.
Student is an apt word to describe Cadogan, who graduated third in his class at Portsmouth and has not stopped achieving in the classroom. Choosing Penn State over Ohio State, who also recruited him, was a matter of academics. He has not disappointed, receiving Academic All-Big Ten honors and attaining a 3.50 GPA through the spring semester.
Currently, he is studying to be a rehab service major with a minor in psychology. Living the life a true student-athlete is difficult, but he has adapted well.
“It's tough, but you have to be able to manage your time,” he said.
This was Cadogan's first trip to Ohio Stadium as a player. Even though he enjoyed his experience, he said with a smile, the fans at Beaver Stadium, where Penn State plays, are better and louder.
He wasn't too happy, however, about not playing the series that the Nittany Lions scored their first points. While Penn State took the first lead of the game on a field goal, Cadogan watched from the sidelines. He also stood on the sidelines as Penn State failed to score from the OSU 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. He said they were just situations that will help him learn even more.
“I wasn't happy about that, but you have to roll with the punches,” he said. “It's in the past now.”
His present and future, however, looks bright. That doesn't mean that he has forgotten the past that has molded him into the person he is today. One day, when he reflects back on his time at Penn State, he said the light will come from Portsmouth.
“You always want to make your hometown proud,” Cadogan said. “I hope I am doing that. My family and my friends really keep my head level and to stay who I am.”